thread: High Fidelity - Book Club Review, October '05

  1. #1

    High Fidelity - Book Club Review, October '05

    This month the Platinum Book Club is reviewing High Fidelity by Nick Hornby

    … a very funny and concise explanation of why we men are as we are. If you are male, you should read it and then make your partner read it, so they will no longer hate you but pity you instead.
    High Fidelity is the story of one Rob Fleming who has been a few things in his life but most men wouldn't really be proud of those things. Told in the first person, this is an unashamed and unflinching tale about one man's journey from boy to man (in the space of a few months). What Hornby tells us in this book is what our mothers already know and what the women we date find out quickly enough - sometimes (most of the time) we're scared to grow up. The lead character in this story is the owner of a record store called Championship Vinyl and while he has top five lists for almost all forms of music and all sorts of sub-themes within the scope of his musical fanaticism, he would be hard pressed to find five nice things to say to your girlfriend when you've made her mad.

    There are some interesting pieces of serial male fantasy in here and some hard-hitting pieces of truth we run away from facing each day. What the reviewers of this book seem to have thought of as funny, I just find frightening because I know I can be like the man described in High Fidelity and that is not a thought that allows one to sleep at night (thus this review is being written at the cost of much needed sleep).

    From his two mates in the record store, Barry and ****, to his girlfriend Laura, her friend Liz, the singer Marie La Salle and the other assorted hangers-on that the authors describes to the tone of the book itself, I got the sense that this was life unfolding before my eyes, between the pages of a paperback novel and that, for me, defines the magic of this book.

    In the art that I absorb, be it film, music, books or anything else, things are always happening and there is a constant state of action but while reading High Fidelity I got the sense that it was like being in conversation with a guy - he told me a lot of stuff but it was all stuff he wanted to tell. This could be a stranger in a bar or my neighbour on a train and I only know what he told me.

    I salute the writer of High Fidelity for the pun in the book's title and for the way he has been able to recreate everyday life.
    How The Members Rated It - score out of 5

    Astrolady - 1
    Nellbe - 2
    Iris -
    *Shannon* -
    Katanya - 2.5
    Megan -
    Jillian -
    Christy -
    Sal -
    RayRay -
    Mitch4now -
    Onelittleone -
    Fi -
    Emmajane -

    If you wish to read the book, but are not a part of the Book Club please be warned that the following posts may contain spoilers for certain books.


  2. #2

    I could not get into this book at all. Even though I did manage to read it all. (took 3 weeks to get through it though)

    I found it rather boring, kept loosing the plot and wandering off and the top 5 lists were REALLY annoying. I did try to read it from a single male (30something) friend of mine POV which helped a little, but I was glad to get to the end... even the end I found really odd.

    I gave it a 1


  3. #3
    Registered User

    Feb 2004

    LOL Kathryn, I give it a 2.

    The blurb sounds so much better than the book actually is and OMG can you believe that Laura and he got back together?

    The last part of it lost me completely and I couldn't be bother rereading it.

    So all in all, not a fabulous book - hope the movie turned out better.

  4. #4
    katanya Guest

    I give this book a 2.5

    I would give it a 3 if I were in a different stage of my life, but since I am not I would give it lower..

    It is definately one of those books I would have got more out of when I was younger and more social and in relationships like that (or similar)

    It took me a while to read and only did because I was internet free, and Felix being sick I was holding him alot and therfore finished it..

    I did like the character disection, I didn't like Rob's attitude, I felt bored and sick of his self indulgent whining. I kept thinking of the movie all the time, which I did enjoy much better..

    Not a completely unreadable book but not a favourite by any stretch either

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Feb 2005
    Happy Valley, Adelaide

    I actually read this a few years ago and remember thinking it was a great book... now I'll have to read it again and see if I still think so! I've seen the film and it's quite different as it's very American. I've read a couple of his other books and remember liking them too, especially "How to be Good", but again, now that I'm older and wiser (HA!) maybe I won't find them so enjoyable...

  6. #6
    BellyBelly Life Subscriber

    Nov 2003
    Kilmore Vic

    I worked out how to reserve a book online at the local library and I have this one waiting for me, I hope it's worth reading, now that I peeked at the ratings I am wondering.....

    At least I know how to get the books I need now!
    Cheers michelle